Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12-9-1: It Wasn't Pretty But ...

... the Rangers won at home. So at least we have that going for us.

The Calgary Flames came into the Garden on Monday night exhausted and emotionally drained after a hugely disappointing loss to Detroit on Sunday and yet were able to carry the action for much of the night. The Rangers started with a jump but didn't score and caved after that, allowing Calgary to dictate the play. The Blueshirts scored a pair of lucky goals and were able to make them stand up against a Flames squad that just couldn't get any flow going to their game.

Basically, the Rangers played a good road game, and escaped with two points. It wasn't pretty, it was hardly entertaining, but now the boys can head out of town on a high note. Not bad.


*Yes, both Ranger goals were soft. Boyle's unintentionally came off a defenseman's skate and Girardi's was a wide open shot that Kipper simply couldn't catch.

*All of the rough stuff came because Brent Sutter and Jarome Iginla insist on a high level of pride. Calgary may lose on the scoreboard but they will not be pushed around doing so. The Flames took exception to every hit they absorbed and it resulted in two fights and a scrum. All of those hits, by the way, were legal - even the initial boarding called on Mike Sauer and especially the one that knocked Matt Stajan out of the game.

*Curtis Glencross did not get his comeuppance after clocking Chris Drury, further showing how little the team cares about Dru. The only bit of revenge that was served was the power play goal scored on Glencross' second period penalty, but that didn't have the same impact as it was a soft goal allowed by Kipper.

*Depending on how you look at it, Derek Boogaard is either very good or very bad at what he does. After the third period fracas, Torts put the big man on the ice for the next shift. Boogey missed his first hit attempt by a few feet, tried to pick a fight, lumbered around a bit, was hit from behind, lumbered towards the bench, tried to pick a fight again and sat down for the rest of the night. On one hand, he couldn't get anyone to dance with him but, on the other, after that shift the Flames did not try to exact any extra revenge for the Staal/Stajan hit. Now, would Calgary have attempted to do that, down by just one goal in the third period? And that is why the question remains, what good is Boogaard?

*Martin Biron was not really forced to make many big saves but he got the job done. Considering there is something hugely wrong with Hank - you don't just decide to take the night off to 'practice some things' when you are a top-5 goaltender on the planet - having Biron come in and do the job was nice to see. But I will not cheer "Marty, Marty, Marty" in MSG. I don't care that it is a different Marty, one on our team who hasn't had relations with his wife's sister, but it is just not going to happen.

*Hey Cally, I know you saw Frolov score on a wrap-around against Minnesota but that move doesn't work 99% of the time. This isn't a video game, this is real life and a All-World goaltender like Miikka Kiprusoff isn't going to give up a goal that way. And is it a coincidence that after Cally was shafted by the scorer in Minnesota that the guy here in NY awarded him an astounding 11 hits? Hmmm ....

*Frolov, you suck. The Russian clearly has some offensive instincts, he just hasn't shown the drive or ability to capitalize on them. The same can almost be said for young Anisimov. Calgary played a tough, physical defense and Arty became invisible. While Frolov's day is done, there is still hope for Arty; let's hope he realizes that.

*Sean Avery saw the second least amount of ice time, getting just three shifts in each of the last two periods. Was Tortorella afraid that Avery would take a bad penalty? Was Tortorella afraid Avery wasn't defensively responsible enough to get more time in a tight game?

*MDZ didn't make many mistakes and had a quiet game, which is exactly what he needed. Perhaps it was because the Rangers had just two power plays or because it was a tight game but giving the youngster less than 20 minutes was a good thing - he still saw action but he didn't have to overextend himself. Another reason why MDZ saw last time was because Torts put Sauer and Gilroy out there more and they rewarded his faith with solid defense.

*Credit to Calgary for shutting down Gaborik completely and credit to the Rangers for winning anyway.

*Nice of the Rangers to have a remembrance of Pat Burns. In my opinion the true testament of a man is not the amount of love his friends and family have for him but the amount of respect he has earned from his enemies. Burns may have made the Blueshirts' lives miserable while with the Devils but he was a helluva coach.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Brian Boyle - one goal.
2-Dan Girardi - one goal and one assist.
1-Martin Biron - 31 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Iginla - Can you imagine how good Iginla would be if he played on a real team?
2-Biron - The Islander didn't give up a single soft goal and gave the Rangers a chance to win - all you can ask for from your backup goaltender.
1-Staal - Girardi is getting all of the press for his two points but it was Staal who made several stellar defensive plays - laying out to break up a 2-on-1 being one of them - and it was Staal who had a beautiful open ice hit on Stajan.


Anonymous said...

Some games aren't going to be pretty and those are usually the ones the Rangers lose. So good job by them for staying focused.

I disagree with Biron not having to make quality saves. He was strong on the posts, stopped Iginla more times than not at point blank range and would've had a shutout in Dubinsky didn't turn the puck over. Good win.


Dennis said...

Boyle's goal went in off the defenseman's stick, not skate, and it probably would have been a goal if it went through because Feds was wide open (as was the goal) waiting for the pass.

Also, I'm glad there wasn't any of that retribution crap for Drury. Means to me that they were focussed on this game and winning this game which is what they should be focussed on. Too much fighting these days is all staged predictible crap, instead of a fluid part of an unfolding game.

This was not a pretty game, but they didn't collapse in the 3rd and they played for the win, not the tie, like last year.

Just like goals, it doesn't matter how you win, just as long as you win.

Chris said...

Also not sure how you can call Sauers hit legal, at all... he straight up nailed the dude from behind... in my opinion, hes lucky to only have gotten 2min for boarding.

Was also happy to see him answer the bell when Kostopolous came calling. Granted, he then had to do it again when Meyer came. Answering for it once is one thing, but twice almost one after the other? thats a bit excessive.

Anonymous said...

That crushing hit by Staal was enough retribution for me. Nice to see the Rangers step up for once. Just wish Boogey could have found someone to fight.

-Sather die in a fire

Johnny D. said...

I was at the game, so I'm not sure which game you watched last night. Biron was on and made many quality saves and deserved as loud a chant as deserved. And the Blueshirts played hard and defensively shut them down, holding them to a one point difference.

You have somehow managed to compliment the Flames while, again, putting down the Rangers. You barely acknowledge the win and the hard working consistency that we are seeing in this team this season (minus the Avalanche game). You are more complimentary of our opponents than the team you supposedly support.

Yes i read your blog and sometimes you are dead-on with your assessments, but most of the time you hold the Rangers to a standard that can never be met. The Scotty Hockey Meter (which might only be work when your team has Messier, leetch and graves on it).

I think most of the people that read your site will agree with me on this point. I question whether you even like the Rangers. Year after year, why are you still a fan and writing about them when you have generally nothing good to say about them, even after a hard working (and earned) win?

I don't get it.


jeff ep said...

Biron was pretty spectacular. The save he made after boyle's goal was GREAT! The crowd im not sure even realized how great it was cause it didnt get much of a reaction. However the crowd overall was very good and was definately into the game.

I disagree about Frolov. Since gabby has come back it's like frolov has turned into a completely different player than what we saw most this season. His effort certainly seems to be there and he's very good when we cycle the puck cause he can protect the puck well.

Overall it was a hard fought game and we came out on top which is what we all wanted in the first place. Did seem like it was sort of a road game but w/the crowd on our side.

Scotty Hockey said...

Dennis - C'mon, watching that third period they weren't playing to win they were playing not to lose. An entire period of praying that Calgary couldn't score the equalizer. They were outshot 15-8 and the eight was being generous. And I while I would like to agree that Boyle's goal would have been a gimmie, this team has missed more than one empty net this season and even then, Kipper has good lateral movement so you never know. He is a great desperation save goalie.

Chris - You are right - I just watched the replay and it was a boarding. From my seat it hadn't looked like that, I thought the guy saw Sauer coming. The second fight was for Sauer's clean check on Kostopolous.

Johnny D - You are absolutely right, I hold the team to a high standard not it is not one that could only be met with Messier, Leetch and Graves. It is the Stanley Cup Standard. Can this team win a Cup? As Reverend Johnson said in Blazing Saddles, "Oh Lord. Do we have the strength to carry on this mighty task (in one night)? Or are we all just jerking off? " Because anything less than a Cup is a waste of time. I don't know about you but I'm sick and tired of watching the team put together just enough effort to squeak into the playoffs and lose in the first or second round. Mediocrity is infuriating.

Brother P said...

Scotty, Scotty, Scotty....maybe you need to get a seat upgrade because it seems to me (and a few others) like you missed a heck of game last night. Lords knows the Rangers got much better seats available then section 329 last row. They will only cost you a kidney donation and heck you got another!

Onto the game...Biron was much better then you are giving him credit for. The chants of Marty are obviously much different for Biron then the other jackbag. Don't be shy you can cheer for YOUR goalie. Cally's wrap around attempt was a great save by Kipursoff. He just got the butt end of his stick on the puck and deflected it towards the corner. As for the Girardi goal, yeah it should of been saved but Girardi really stepped into his shot. Goalies allow soft goals from time to time (hank, cough, cough, hank)and let's not forget it was a POWER PLAY GOAL!

jeff ep said...

would you rather your team not make the playoffs than make them? God knows i'd much rather watch them w/my team their than them not their even they did get bounced first round. Whats the difference between 4 spots in the hockey draft anyway

Anonymous said...

Do you really know anything about hockey? You write about the Rangers like you are from some alternate universe. You sound just like the jerks that sit behind me at the Garden who have nothing good to say when the Rangers play well but won't shut up whenever someone makes a mistake. Thank you for helping me have one less blog to read about the Rangers.

Anonymous said...

I have to go with the consensus here and say that Scotty must've been watching a different game than the rest of us. The game wasn't pretty, but it was exciting and I think the assessment that Biron didn't have to make many strong saves is grossly inaccurate.

Anonymous said...

I agree too, u must have been watching another game. U never give anyone credit. Cally's wrap around was a nice save but a good play by Kipper. Frolov while hasn't nearly been near what we were hoping has stepped it up lately, and for gods sake enough with the ragging on Anisimov. The kid is 21 years old. Fuck!

Scotty Hockey said...

I can't believe you guys are raving about Biron so much. For one, I did give Biron credit saying he did his job. I don't think he was Patrick Roy out there or the guy to supplant Hank. He did his job, he gave them a chance to win. For a butterfly goaltender to go down and not move while the opposing player tries to bang the puck past his leg is no big goaltending feat to me. He made some nice stops, he wasn't anything special. He did his job.

The game was so exciting the guy next to me went to sleep twice, seriously. After the initial press in the first eight minutes or so of the first, the rest of the period was boring as the Rangers didn't bother to get another shot off. There were several other dull moments where both teams kept dumping the puck back and forth. For you guys to think that was exciting saddens me.

For the Rangers to have to play a road game at home just to hang in there against a non-playoff western conference team doesn't blow what is left of my hair back, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with everyone here who thinks that Scotty accidentally saw a different game last night.

Scotty I don't frequent here often but whenever I do you're always ragging on the Rangers. Even if they win.

You don't always have to be so negative. Maybe try actually watching the game instead of simply looking for the flaws.

Unless that's exactly what you're about, which it seems to me you are. Try to be happy for a change, no need to be so negative.

Also, no need to call Biron an "Islander." He was an Islander once, get over it. It's not like it was DiPietro coming over the river.